Cocaine production in Colombia has increased compared to last year’s statistics, a report from the United Nations stated Wednesday.
Coca production increased by 13 percent since last year, with another 25,000 hectares tilled for crop expansions, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). These new statistics show over 171,000 hectares of Colombia’s farming sectors are busily nurturing 31 percent of illicit coca production, the base substance used in creating cocaine hydrochloride.
A boost of 64 percent of coca crops was recorded in Antioquia, Cauca, Putumayo, and Norte de Santander.
"I want to express my deep concern about the amount of money that illicit drugs move," said Onudc representative, Bo Mathiasen, during the organization’s annual presentation given in Bogota.
The recent report explained: "It is estimated that the potential production of cocaine would reach a value in the local market of 2,700 million dollars.”
The surge in coca cultivation is attributed in part to the international narcotics demand.
Minister of Justice, Gloria Maria Borrero said, "The report presented to us today by UNODC is very worrying.”
Borrero said the newly elected president, Ivan Duque, plans to introduce anti-drug trafficking initiative per “a comprehensive policy” which will include everything from preventative measures to forced eradication, AFP reports.
Last week, the president revealed his ambitious plans to reduce coca production by 140,000 hectares over the next four years.
However, past military missions of forced eradications have lead to violent clashes with the agricultural sectors with dozens wounded and killed and triggered a national debate on the state’s willingness to support new profitable alternatives for farmers in rural regions.